Embark on an exhilarating adventure amidst the breathtaking wonders of Skaftafell Glacier in Iceland, where ice climbing and glacier hiking combine to create an adrenaline-fueled experience like no other. As the gateway to Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, Skaftafell treats you to awe-inspiring vistas of Iceland’s towering ice-cloaked peaks, reaching heights of over 2,000 meters above your helmet. Prepare to tread the same icy paths as renowned actors like Pierce Brosnan and Matt Damon, who have graced this spectacular landscape in movies such as James Bond, Interstellar, and the epic TV series Game of Thrones.
This captivating tour spans four hours, guiding you through a variety of scenic landscapes that will leave you mesmerized. Along the way, you’ll be granted a magnificent perspective of the surrounding mountains, with the crown jewel being Hvannadalshnúkur, the tallest peak in the Nordic country. Throughout your journey, a certified and experienced guide will be your trusted companion, equipping you with top-notch trekking gear, imparting valuable knowledge on ascending ice shafts, and providing fascinating insights about the region’s wonders.
Prepare yourself for an unforgettable expedition, where the frozen landscapes of Skaftafell Glacier unveil their magnificence, leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Your adventure begins as you park your car at the meeting point in Skaftafell (see meeting point here below), where your experienced glacier guide awaits your arrival. Here, your guide imparts essential knowledge on glacier safety, instructing you on the proper use of crampons and ice climbing techniques. They equip you with the necessary gear for this thrilling expedition, including crampons, helmets, harnesses, steel frames, and ice axes. As the glacier resides within the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, your guide also takes the time to educate you about the National Park, the glacier itself, its geological composition, and its formation.
After a brief 15-minute walk to the foot of the glacier, the true adventure unfolds. Assisted by your guide, you don crampons and secure the steel frames onto your hiking boots. With every step, you embark on a mesmerizing trek across vast, pristine expanses of white wilderness, accompanied only by the rhythmic crunch of your boots on the snow and ice. Throughout the tour, you’ll be surrounded by captivating natural wonders, such as the glacier Moulin—a vertical canyon that cuts deep into the ice cap—and age-old ice sculptures, transformed into ethereal shades of blue due to trapped oxygen.
For over three hours, you traverse the icy terrain, marveling at the remarkable features that unfold before you. Your guide skillfully seeks out new crevasses and Moulins for climbing, as the glacier is constantly evolving and altering its landscape. This ensures a more intimate experience, away from crowds. To ascend ice walls, the guide expertly installs a robust ice screw and secures the rope to it, allowing you ample opportunities to test your skills and scale icy shafts using ice axes, adding an extra element of excitement to your journey.
The tour boasts a moderate difficulty level, suitable for individuals in good physical health. If you can walk for an hour on uneven surfaces, you’re well-prepared for this glacier hike. However, it’s important to come equipped with proper attire, as the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable. It is recommended to wear waterproof clothing as a second layer, ensuring you remain comfortable throughout the excursion.
- Certified glacier guide
- All safety equipment: harness, crampons, helmet & ice axe
- Ice Climbing boots
- Glacier Hike
- Ice Climbing
What to bring
- Warm clothing (first layer)
- Waterproof clothing (second layer)
Good to know
- This tour is operated in small groups – maximum 6 persons
- This tour doesn’t require prior experience in glacier hiking or ice climbing. It is perfect for beginners as well as those who have been glacier hiking before.
- This tour is suitable for both single travelers, groups and families.
- The duration of the tour is 4 hours but you will spend 150-180 minutes on the ice itself.
The meeting point is Skaftafell – see on map here above.
We will see you at our meeting point 20 minutes before the departure time stated on your ticket. Please note that if you arrive after departure time, your place on the tour can’t be guaranteed or refunded.
Driving time from Reykjavik to Skaftafell is around 4 hours and 30 minutes. If you arrive early, you can visit Skaftafell Terminal which offers free parking and has restrooms. There are also a lot of interesting locations to explore in Skaftafell.
We encourage bringing hiking boots for glacier tours. They have to hard on the sole and tight around the ankle. If you don’t have them, we have them for rent in all sizes in Skaftafell or Sólheimajökull. You can add them to your reservation at the time of booking or rent them on location pay with cash or card. The price is ISK 1,500 per pair. For ice climbing tours, boots are included in the price.
Weather in Iceland is very unpredictable. For tours during winter: warm clothing as first layer, waterproof jacket with a hoodie, hiking boots with ankle protection and hard sole, a hat and gloves are ideal. For tours during summer, bringing a light rain jacket or a soft shell with a hoodie is in most cases enough protection. Icelanders often say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes”. Jeans are not recommended for the tour as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.
It rains a lot in Iceland, but we do not let rain stop us from going out and enjoy nature. All we need to do is choose our clothing wisely, which is why we recommend wearing waterproof clothing as the second layer. Of course, safety is our #1 priority. In case of extreme weather conditions, we will cancel our tours and do our best to reschedule. In these cases, you’ll receive a full refund.
This is a personal choice. We have had pregnant women on our glacier hikes and we always recommend you read the description of the activity to get a better idea. In any case, feel free to contact our Service Team for further questions and concerns.
We offer glacier hiking tours in Skaftafell and one in Sólheimajökull. Both locations are easy or moderate in difficulty. Our tours are considered to be safe for anyone in good physical condition. If you are fit to walk for about an hour on an uneven surface a glacier hike is for you. Longer tours will be more challenging in endurance and some areas of the glacier. We also recommend you remember that we offer all the safety equipment necessary and you will be hiking with a professional and certified glacier guide. If you have specific questions regarding one of our glacier tours, feel free to email us.